Brown’s Open Curriculum at 50 Years

A yearlong celebration and exploration of Brown’s innovative, student-centered curriculum

For the last half century, the freedom enabled by Brown University’s distinctive approach to undergraduate education has propelled generations of graduates into high-impact lives and careers as leaders in medicine, business, law, entrepreneurship, the arts, engineering, public health, government, education, policy and more.

Beginning on May 7, 2019, Brown students, alumni, faculty and staff will embark upon a yearlong, community-wide celebration and exploration of the University’s innovative approach to teaching and learning — now known as the Open Curriculum.

That date marks a pivotal moment in Brown’s history when students converged on the College Green to listen to a live radio broadcast of faculty deliberating on and voting in favor of student-driven curricular changes that ultimately paved the way to establishing the University’s innovative, student-centered curriculum.

Events and milestones throughout the next year — from First Readings and Opening Convocation for new students, to Commencement and Reunion for new graduates and alumni — will offer opportunities for the Brown community to participate in commemorating the impact of the students and faculty who envisioned the Open Curriculum, and to join in exploring how it is and should be embodied today and into the future.

In 1969, Brown students and faculty envisioned a university where students could enjoy the freedom to take intellectual risks and mix ideas in deliberate and interesting ways of their own making. Today, Brown’s academic excellence is rooted in its Open Curriculum. In the year ahead, we will celebrate the legacy of those who propelled its creation and explore new ways in which Brown’s innovative education can continue to prepare graduates for successful, high-impact lives and careers.

Christina Paxson Brown University President

More voices on the Open Curriculum

Rashid Zia

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In marking the start of the 2019-20 academic year, President Christina Paxson and Dean of the College Rashid Zia encouraged students to harness the power of the Open Curriculum to become change agents in their communities.
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